Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Pregnancy and Implications for Long-Term Health: Identifying the Research Priorities for Low-Resource Settings
Nagraj S., Kennedy SH., Norton R., Jha V., Praveen D., Hinton L., Hirst JE.
Cardiometabolic disorders (CMDs), including ischemic heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes are the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in women worldwide. The burden of CMDs falls disproportionately on low and middle-income countries (LMICs), placing substantial demands on already pressured health systems. Cardiometabolic disorders may present up to a decade earlier in some LMIC settings, and are associated with high-case fatality rates. Early identification and ongoing postpartum follow-up of women with pregnancy complications such as hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDPs), and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) may offer opportunities for prevention, or help delay onset of CMDs. This mini-review paper presents an overview of the key challenges faced in the early identification, referral and management of pregnant women at increased risk of CMDs, in low-resource settings worldwide. Evidence-based strategies, including novel diagnostics, technology and innovations for early detection, screening and management for pregnant women at high-risk of CMDs are presented. The review highlights the key research priorities for addressing cardiometabolic risk in pregnancy in low-resource settings.